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Curriculum

We believe that learning to code consists of much more than just the materials we provide and the curriculum we've created. We currently use a mixture of workshops, exercises, projects, classroom break-out sessions and end-of-week challenges to help our students understand programming. The immersive environment, having expert coaches on hand all day and pairing with other students are all key to our educational process.

Our

Manifesto

We have six main beliefs. Together, they form our manifesto

Coding != Science

Coding == Craft

Coding is more than syntax. The best developers see themselves as Artisans.

Pair Programming

Two Heads > One

We prefer code written in pairs over code written by lone-wolves.

Best Practices ==

Worth the Effort

Doing it right and going a little slower is always better than moving fast and ignoring best practice.

At every opportunity

Learn by Doing

You can read about riding a bike 'til the cows come home; unless you actually try riding one, you're unlikely to be competing in the Tour de France any time soon.

The Best Learning ==

Self-Guided Learning

It doesn't matter how much you pay a personal trainer - you still have to do the squats! As with training, so with learning.

Healthy Body &&

Healthy Mind == Success

You have to be well to learn well, so we encourage our students to take care of their health - through yoga, meditation and keeping fit.


Your

Day

If you're onsite we’ve got table tennis, yoga, discussion groups, excessive N64 gaming, and the odd NERF battle. These kinds of activities are designed to keep your brain alive and your motivation intact. Of course, there's also an enormous amount of coding. While no two days are identical, here's a general sense of what an average day might look like:

Time Activity Description
9.00am Standup

Students relate to what they did the day before, what they're planning on doing today, where they got stuck, and how they got unstuck. Lots of clapping and feel-goods.

9.30am Skills Workshop

Students are introduced to key programming skills in isolation, and then given room to practice and feed back in a group setting. This is a chance to have a coach demo some stuff, or visualise things using a board.

10.30am Pair Programming

Students pair with each other throughout the morning, building real stuff using tools and practices we’d expect from a professional junior developer.

1.00pm Lunch

Our cohorts tend to lunch together. Generally they like to go out in droves to one of Shoreditch’s fine local eateries and there's often a lunchtime talk from one of the many CTOs that our hiring team speak to!

2.00pm Meditation

Programming is extremely challenging. Meditation helps keep a lid on things, keeps you grounded, and helps keep your brain sharp.

2.30pm Pair Programming

The afternoon is spent pair programming, as students work through the challenges or projects provided in the curriculum.

7.00pm Socialising

A pecha kucha night, a trip to a software craftsmanship meetup at Yammer, a hosted event, or a film night...we love to organise stuff to keep our students social bar topped up.


What

You'll learn

Precourse

Everything you need to get ready for the main course

In the four weeks preceding the full-time course, you are required to complete a mandatory, part-time PreCourse from home. This will ensure that you get to the required level of coding knowledge before starting full time. In the first week, you focus on the foundations: first, the command-line, which is key to navigating around your computer; second, you'll tackle version control using Git and Github. This is followed by learning Ruby syntax through challenges over 3 weeks, culminating in building your Github CV for the start of your coding journey. The PreCourse requires at least 20 hours per week to complete successfully, but the more time you can spend on the PreCourse, the better.

Week 1

Test-Driven Development and Object-Oriented Programming

The main topics of week 1 are test driven development and object oriented programming. By now, you'll have some experience writing pure Ruby code and are familiar with the functionality of core Ruby classes. This week you start creating your own classes in a test driven way. The aim of this week is to understand how to structure code using objects. You'll also meet the careers team who will be helping you get jobs at the end of the course. Weekend challenges are completed each week to reflect and consolidate the learning from the previous week.

Week 2

Further TDD and OOP

This week, you'll work to reinforce and deepen your understanding of test driven development and object oriented programming. You will learn techniques for designing, programming and refactoring object oriented code. These techniques help you write code that is easy to read, change and maintain.

Week 3

Introduction to Web Development

By now, you should be comfortable using Ruby and writing object oriented code in a test driven way. In week 3 you'll focus on the fundamentals of the web: HTTP protocols, the Sinatra framework, HTML & CSS. You also learn how to deploy our code to Heroku and use the development tools in Google Chrome. Finally, you'll also learn how to use Capybara to test drive web applications. This week is usually a popular one, as you're finally able to deploy a working application to the web.

Week 4

Databases and User Management

It's time to learn how to add a relational database to a Sinatra application using DataMapper. In this week you look at relational databases, key-value stores and SQL. You'll also spend a lot of time discussing proper management of user accounts along with hashing and salting, choosing appropriate hashing algorithms and mitigating common security risks. You'll write a user management system (sign up, sign in, sign out, etc) from scratch, paying special attention to the security aspects. This is an important milestone as you'll now have a full picture of web development.

Week 5

Front-End Technologies

Now that you can build test-driven, secure, database-backed web applications, it's time to start talking about front-end technologies: JavaScript, jQuery, AJAX and responsive design. Now you start to explore a new language: JavaScript, also known as the language of the web.

Week 6

Project week 1

This week is all about teamwork as you're introduced to some techniques and practices common in an Agile or XP workplace. Working on a set project in small groups, you'll learn to master Git workflow, QA, Standups/Scrums, Kanban and pair programming in a team environment. This is also a great opportunity to practise and consolidate the skills and concepts learned in previous weeks. This week you'll also start working with the careers team so you can start planning your job hunting strategy.

Week 7

Further JavaScript

You'll come back to JavaScript this week by building a JavaScript testing framework - no fancy frameworks allowed! Students will demystify the inner workings of JavaScript frameworks as they build everything from the testing platform to the front end architecture of their application in pure JavaScript. Your careers session this week will be around how to sell your experience to potential employers.

Week 8

Ruby on Rails Basics

In week 8 you'll start working with Ruby on Rails. By now you have a solid understanding of Ruby, the web (HTTP, HTML, JavaScript, etc) and experience using databases. Armed with all this knowledge, you'll find Ruby on Rails easy to understand as it merely automates what you can do without it. This week ActiveRecord is part of your learning, the asset pipeline, routing and Rails architecture. Our Careers team will run you through challenging your preconceptions about what kind of company you want to work for.

Week 9

Project Week 2

This week you consolidate your learning by building a full-stack project using everything you've learnt from the previous weeks. Agile, Git workflow, User Stories, and teamwork are revisited in another team based project. Part of your learning this week will also include some advanced job hunter techniques.

Week 10

Individual Technical Challenges

This week you get back to pure object oriented design with a series of individual challenges designed to stretch your understanding of techniques for OOD. This week will reinforce behaviours like testing first, using enough design upfront and using the XP values to guide your behaviour as a developer. The challenges this week will be undertaken individually, and are designed to mimic technical tests commonly used by employers as part of the recruitment process. You'll also start practicing technical interviews and networking.

Week 11

The Final Project

By now you are confident Junior Developer. To put your skills to the test, you'll build a final project that shows how far you've come since you started. This week a fewer new topics are introduced and instead you focus on building the first version of your final project.

Week 12

Graduation

Early in the week is a feature freeze to make sure the final projects are as polished as possible. This is the most intensive week at Makers Academy, when all teams stay late trying to outperform each other to write the most impressive, test driven and clean code. Friday our careers team will put on a job hunting fair in the morning where our hiring partners will be showcasing their job vacancies followed by you giving your final project demo's. The evening will be a party attended by friends, families, hiring partners, recruiters, ex-students and prospective students of Makers Academy.

Course Dates

PreCourse Start Course Start Hiring Begins
3 July 2017 31 July 2017 20 October 2017
31 July 2017 29 August 2017 17 November 2017
28 August 2017 25 September 2017 15 December 2017
25 September 2017 23 October 2017 12 January 2018
23 October 2017 20 November 2017 16 February 2018
20 November 2017 18 December 2017 16 March 2018

Apply Now

We run cohorts every 4 weeks and applications are highly competitive. Apply early to avoid disappointment.